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18 June 2007
News

Jankovic: Verdict Due on 19 June

BIRN BiH
The trial of Zoran Jankovic comes to an end with the presentation of closing remarks by both parties. The verdict will be pronounced on 19 June.
The Prosecution considers that Zoran Jankvic's guilt has been proved during the trial and asks for a "long-term imprisonment", while the Defence denies all allegations in the indictment and asks for their client to be released. The Trial Chamber will pronounce its verdict on 19 June 2007.

The Prosecution thinks that Zoran Jankovic, together with a group of Serbian soldiers, captured Bosniak civilians from the village of Snagovo, Zvornik municipality, on 29 April 1992. Thirty-six of them were then shot, and their bodies were burnt.

The Prosecution also considers that Jankovic participated, on 27 May 1992, in the maltreatment of a group of civilians captured during attacks on the villages of Seher and Lika, Kalesija municipality, some of which were killed and some were taken to detention camps.

In his closing remarks, Prosecutor Mirsad Strika has said that the long-term imprisonment prescribed by the criminal law of BiH is, "by all means, more benign than a death sentence prescribed for crimes against humanity by criminal law of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was in force on the date of commitment of the crime".

"We have proved that the indictee was aware of the attack and that all his actions were a part of that attack. I consider that the Chamber can clearly, unmistakably and undoubtedly reach a conclusion that Zoran Jankovic committed the criminal act charged upon him and I therefore suggest that you pronounce him guilty," said Strika.

The Prosecutor has said that he thinks that there are no mitigating circumstances that could reduce the sentence, but there is a range of aggravating circumstances. According to his words, one of the mitigating ones is the fact that the indictee "showed particular cruelty" during the commitment of the crime. It shows in the number of victims and the fact that some of them were children as young as two and three years old.

The Prosecution has suggested that the Chamber puts the indictee in custody after the pronouncement of the verdict, as there is "realistic danger" that he could escape in order to avoid serving the sentence.
Jankovic is defending himself while on bail.

Defence attorney Dragoslav Peric's closing remarks were based on "criticism" of, as he said, "evolution of subsequent discoveries by prosecution witnesses".

"The process of indicting Jankovic started with his identification, but all witnesses could see a photo of this Zoran Jankovic in the media four days ahead of the identification," claimed Peric. He added that, after this, all of them were assured that the crimes must have been committed by Jankovic.

The attorney has said the the defence wishes to reveal the actual perpetrators of the crimes committed in Zvornik and Kalesija, as well as Jankovic's role in all that.

"I think you will recognise the reality we want to express, as well as the facts and evidence. Therefore the defence has just one request - and that is a verdict of release," Peric has concluded.

Jankovic has also addressed the chamber. He has, once more, denied committing the crimes charged upon him and has expressed hope that "justice will win".
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